Firearm related background checks this September were higher than any other September on record.
Almost any time a person purchases a firearm in the U.S. – Gun stores are required to run criminal background check on their customers through a national database.
The log dates back until 1998 and is called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) through the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
There were 1,992,219 firearm related background checks submitted last month, breaking the record for the month of September. That’s an increase of 197,117 background checks performed, compared to September 2015.
Since May 2015, each monthly record has been broken, which has now reached a 17-month streak.
Owner of the Sacramento-based Capital Gun Club and gun rights activist, Joe Deaser said the NICS log is one of the best representations of the number of firearms sold.
Less than 1 percent of people who go through a NICS check are denied purchasing a firearm, Deaser said.
Gun sales continue to increase and for a number of reasons, Deaser said. The upcoming presidential election, current and proposed legislation, and mass shootings could also account for the spike in gun sales, Deaser said.
“I think people’s fear is that the future administration could be even worse,” Deaser said. “And that’s not just the national administration, that’s also the state of California.”
The Brady Campaign is a national organization dedicated to preventing gun violence. The organization hopes to reduce the number of gun related deaths and injuries by changing policy, culture and the gun industry.
The number of checks through NICS are not a direct representation of the number of firearms sold, according to a note on the FBI statistics page.
“These statistics represent the number of firearm background checks initiated through the NICS,” the FBI note reads. “They do not represent the number of firearms sold.”